Ready to change the face of highbrow Ikoyi and Victoria Island into functional neighborhoods within a wider mega-city, the Lagos State Government recently presented to development experts and stakeholders in the built environment the final draft of the revised development master plan for the area expected to run from 2013 to 2033. When the Model City Master Plan is fully in place, the idea is to open up some traditional high-end locations of both Ikoyi and Victoria Island to middle and low income level developments.
For real estate investors and developers, the new approval order for house developments in the two locations as enumerated during the presentation of the master plan was quite revealing and explicit. According to the Proposed Master Plan, the Central Business District of Victoria Island will consist mainly of Commercial activities such as Offices, Banks, and Art Galleries etc. The areas that have been delineated to be fully commercial are Adeyemo Alakija, Idowu Taylor, Engineering Close, Afri Bank, Adeola Hopewell, Sanusi Fafunwa, Gafar Animashaun, Buraimoh Kenku and Oladele Olashore. The minimum height for properties in these mentioned locations is 45m (15 floors) and maximum 90m (30 floors).
For areas considered as Liaison Offices Corridor for only Hotels (5 star), offices and Banks in Victoria Island, they include according to the master plan Modupe Oshikoya street and then Adetunbo Ademola to Ajose Adeogun Roundabout. The minimum height is 45m (15 floors) for all properties and the maximum is 90m (30 floors). However there must be two car parking spaces for every three (3) hotel/guest rooms and 1 car parking space for every 10m2 of multi-purpose hall floor space. In the Hospitality Corridor where only Hotels (3 star) and Offices are expected to be developed, AJ-Marinho Drive is the only location that comes under this category, and the minimum amount of floors a building can go is 30m (10 floors) and maximum 60m (20 floors).
For Mixed Use Corridors 1 where Commercial, Residential or Institutional properties will be permitted, the areas include Kofo Abayomi Street, Adeola Odeku Street, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Ahmadu Bello Way, Akin Adesola Street, Karimu Kotun Street to the West, Adetokunbo Ademola and from Ajose Adeogun Roundabout to Ozumba Mbadiwe and then to Idowu Martins; the minimum amount of floors a building can go in these areas going by the new draft master plan is 45m (15 floors) and 90m (30 floors). In the Mixed Use Corridors 2, the areas delineated are Aboyade Cole Street, Apese Street, Itirin Court II, Fabac Close, Elias Close, Idejo Street to the junction of Towry Close, Raufu Taylor Muri Okunola Street, Ligali Ayorinde Street, Imam Rahim Okene Str with minimum heights expected to be 30m (10 floors) and maximum expected to be 60m (20 floors).
The High Density Residential areas include Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Abudu Smith Road, Goriola Street, Anifowose Street, Musa Yar’adua Street, Adeleke Adodoyin Street, Sapara Williams and Elsie Femi Pearse. The approved heights here for properties are minimum 30m (10 floors) and maximum 60m (20 floors), while in the Medium Density Residential area of Saka Jojo Street, Idejo from Towry Close junction to Oju Olobun Close, Akarigbere Close, Ologun Agbeje Street, Ogalade Close, Gbabaru Close, Molade Okoya Thomas Street, Adebisis Omotola Close, Samuel Adedoyin Street, Gafar Animashaun Street, Sinari Adaranijo, Tony Anigbode Street, Bamfold Williams Close, Marinho Drive and Dr Lawrence Omole Close, the maximum heights are expected to be minimum of 21m (7 floors) and maximum 30m (10 floors).
Finally, the areas considered as Telecommunication District for Offices, Multilevel Parks in Victoria Island according to the new master plan are Saka Tinubu Street/Close, Adeyinka Olorunnibe Close, Abimbola Awoniyi Close, Kasumu Ekemode Close, and Bishop Kale Close. The minimum heights of properties in these ares are expected to be 21m (7 floors) and maximum 30m (15 floors).
In Ikoyi, the approval order for Mixed Use Corridor 1 include Alfred Riwane Road and Osbone Road from the junction of Alfred Rewane to 1st Avenue Junction. The minimum height here will be 45m (15 floors) and maximum 90m (30 floors). For Mixed Use Corridor 2, Glover Road is the only area listed and the minimum floors will be 30m (10 floors) and 60m (20 floors), while the Mixed Use Corridor 3 which includes areas like Awolowo Road, Brown Road to the junction of Obadeyi Close, Keffi Street, Ribadu Road to the junction of Okotie Eboh will have approved minimum floors of 15m (5 floors) and maximum floors of 30m (10 floors).
For the High Density Residential Areas; Bourdillon Road, Alexander Avenue, Gerrard Road, Osborne Road from the junction of Alfred Rewane to Gerrard road Junction, Ikoyi Crescent and Inner Crescent have all been delineated. The minimum height here is 30m (10 floors) and maximum is 60m (20 floors). However for the Medium Density Residential Areas of Abacha Estate, Rumens, Fowler, Barrow, Webb, Warring, Lugard,Cameron Road,Alfred , Rewane, and Copper, the minimum height will be 21m (7 floors) and maximum of 30m (10 floors), while the Low Density Residential Areas of Oyinkan, Abayomi Drive, Milverton Road, Ilabere Road, Oroke Drive and Adeyemi Lawson will have approvable a minimum of 7.5m (2 floors) and maximum of 18m (6 floors).
For Banana Island which is divided into A & B of High Residential and Low Residential Density, the approval order stipulates minimum of 15m (5 floors), maximum of 60m (20 floors) and minimum of 9m (3 floors) and maximum of 18m (6 floors) respectively. Osborne Phase 1 and 2 carry the same approval order of Mixed Use Residential with minimum height of 15m (5 floors) and maximum of 30m (10 floors), while the areas delineated as Low Residential Areas will have a minimum approved height of 9m (3 floors) and maximum height of 18m (6 floors) and also minimum approvable height of 6m (2 floors) and 12m (4 floors) for places of worship earmarked as Institutional Areas.
POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS FOR VICTORIA ISLAND
What can be deduced from the new Approval Order is that Victoria Island may totally become a commercial enclave as government seems to be following a trend of massive change of use of the area from once a purely residential enclave for the high and mighty in the society to the most organized commercial hub of Lagos.
Also, the fight by some longtime residents of the area to retain the residential outlook of the area may have finally been lost judging by the minimum number of floors for buildings in the area. It will be recalled that the Supreme Court recently threw-out the case brought by residents in the vicinity of Idowu Martins Street and Victoria Island asking that the popular shopping mall, Mega Plaza be converted into luxury flats. The residents had argued that the erection of the mall was in violation of the Physical Planning and Environmental Laws of Lagos State. But the Court which was confirming the judgments of the Court of Appeal and High Court, said that the residents had not established their legal right to the subject matter of the claim and that they had failed to show how the contraventions affected their personal rights or interests as they were not owners of the property and that they also had failed to show how they were likely to suffer an injury by the location of the structure. However, all that may not be necessary again as there seems to be government backing for the total commercialization of the area.
Although the master plan creates provision for expansion of roads, integration of organized transport plans within the area, questions must still be asked about the capacity of such infrastructure to cope with the resultant massive inflow and outflow of people on a daily basis. Infrastructure in Victoria Island is already overstretched and it may just get more complicated if not properly planned.
…AND WHAT MAY HAPPEN IN IKOYI?
There might be no major alteration in the development pattern of Ikoyi. Two major streets are already showing signs similar to the new approval order with major projects in various stages of construction. Kingsway Road, which is a major thorough fare in Ikoyi has five major projects under construction currently: A Commercial Building situated at No 16 Temple Road (shares boundary with Kingsway Road), Sogenal Towers, a 15 Storey Mixed-use Development which is situated beside The Mercedes Benz Place, Heritage Place situated behind Kia motors on the corner of Lugard Avenue and Kingsway Road, the Rising Sun Commercial building situated opposite the Ikoyi club second gate, on the corner of Olumegbon Road and a Mixed-Use development no 33a.
If Kingsway Road is purely commercial, the Bourdillon/Alexander/Gerrard stretch is fully residential. Joining famous developments like the Tango Towers are: Mason Apartments, two apartment blocks on 15 floors which have been fully completed and are now up for letting, another two apartment blocks on 10 floors in mustard and silver colors at the junction of Turnbull and Alexander Road which is reputed to have been bought off the developer by an ‘oil magnate’. On Gerrard, we have two major developments on about 12 floors being built next to each other: one is by the famous developer, Cadwell Limited, which has several developments in Ikoyi and Victoria Island, and the other is on 21 Gerrad Road.
These are the projects which have come above ground. There are many cleared plots on these major roads which are clearly earmarked for high rise developments. The ‘manhattanisation’ of Old Ikoyi is truly on course with this new approval order. The exceptions are only in the Low Density areas of Osborne Phase 1 and 2 as well as Banana Island where approved heights have been pegged at between 2 floors to 6 floors. For the “Deep Pocket” would-be property owners who want personal mansions these areas will be a major point of attraction.